Soft-proofing your images

ZenBrianZenBrian Administrator Posts: 1,689
Color management can be a chore, and it can be confusing for many. Between color spaces, .icc profiles, soft proofing, and converting vs assigning, the exact steps to take and which boxes to check can be daunting. Soft proofing is a great way to have a bit more control over how your images print, but there are several options to check off and numerous edits that can be made. Once you find a routine that works for you, the results can be night and day. Often times it can be the difference between a "nice photo" and a highly polished image.

I personally soft proof all the time. I find that I add more contrast in general and usually brighten images up an extra 10-15%. I am curious though, what do other folks do? Do you have any common edits that you tend to make when soft-proofing?  
Thanks!

Brian
Zenfolio Support
image


Check out my site! www.bussierephoto.com

Comments

  • McCartyMcCarty Member Posts: 28
    Many years ago, like late 90's, we decided to use Millers for our digital portrait/wedding printing. I calibrated my monitor using their icc profile. All our images are in the srgb colorspace. A few years later I got a new monitor and used a Spider to calibrate the monitor. My calibration matched Millers perfectly. So I stuck with my calibration. I use the same system for all our monitors today. Whether I have the lab color correct or not, my prints are exactly as I view them. I use a handful of other pro labs and often tell them to print with no correction. I always receive perfect matches. I think color handling has come a long, long way in 10+ years. All the pro labs seem to be on the same page. I can't say for sure, but my bet would be if you have a calibrated monitor, most any lab will give you a matching print. Unless your dealing with printing your own work on an inkjet, I think its all a closed loop system now.

    So to sum it up, I work in a soft-proofing system all the time. This system works for our clients who purchase prints or digital images.

    I'm also not doing much work for companies like Coke that will put my prints up against a Pantone swatch with a colorimeter.

    We have had clients who want digital images in cmyk or colormatch 16bit. All product shoots. All of which were inside the srgb colorspace anyway. Not that the client would have known that. Not to mention the cameras we are using can't capture outside srgb or Adobe Raw anyway. But I suppose the client could have added graphics outside the srgb space.

    On a side note, I have my home displays (TV's) professionally calibrated. To someone used to watching their TV with its over saturated over contrasty setting, my tv looks dull at first. But it is true to life. It's the way the director intended it to look. And, it just so happens that when I viewed Millers test print on my tv, it matches perfectly.


  • brianclark4brianclark4 Beverley,UKMember Posts: 3
    I agree, without having your monitors and printers profiled there is no way you are going to get a colour matched printout. I use the Color Monkey as my profiling tool, which is easy to set up and use. I have an Epson 2400 printer and the printouts are exactly as seen on the monitor. I profile my monitor and printer around every 2-3 months, to make sure that everything is kept in sync.
  • Once you soft proof the photo on your screen using mpix labs or milllers .icc files and get the look that you want, do you then save the file at maximum jpg resolution and upload those files to zenfolio. I think I'm missing something here.
  • saharmalusaharmalu Member Posts: 8
    I agree, without having your monitors and printers profiled there is no way you are going to get a colour matched printout. I use the Color Monkey as my profiling tool, which is easy to set up and use. I have an Epson 2400 printer and the printouts are exactly as seen on the monitor. I profile my monitor and printer around every 2-3 months, to make sure that everything is kept in sync.
    image
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